A little over three years ago, I began Texas Schmexas in an attempt to point my finger at something I had a hunch existed in my small town in the middle of America but was missing from my everyday, lived experience. That something is what I call community.
I was struggling to put down roots. Or maybe my roots were in the ground but needed some watering. I’m not sure.
Over four hundred posts later–four hundred!!!–I’m still thinking about community a lot. The problem is, it’s hard to write about community when people in your community know you write about it. It’s hard to be honest and impossible to be anonymous.
It’s not an anonymous blog, for example, when you get shout-outs from the pulpit as sermon illustrations. (I appreciate it Bob, I really do.)
Also, I live in a town in which most people’s roots go back generations, where if you’re not related to someone, you just haven’t talked to them long enough.
That's what community is, and I've come to love it.
I love it because of my four hundred posts at Texas Schmexas. Taking the time to think about community has taught me to love community for what it is, all of its annoyances and blessings, its quirky craziness and its boring everyday-ness.
But you’ve probably noticed that my posts over the last year have become less story-oriented and more general reflections about community. When I do carve out enough time to write blog posts, which is more rare than I’d like, I write more theoretically, philosophizing about community and challenging those within my own community to live more justly, to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Sure, I’m proud of what the blog has turned into, but I’d like there to be more stories, like there were in the olden days. Don’t you?
I miss those stories.
In fact, some of the most popular posts in the history of Texas Schmexas have been stories. To my surprise, posts about shopping at the co-op, leaving out my dirty underoos, and interacting with the neighborhood kids have gotten some of the most traffic. I never have been able to predict what will resonate with folks, but I’m glad that some of the stories do.
All of that say, we’re celebrating four hundred posts by changing some things up around here.
I'm going to write more stories, for one thing.
Secondly, as you’ve noticed, I’m playing around with the blog layout and theme a bit. (Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts as I work out the kinks.)
And, lastly, I’ve asked some of my favorite people who are sprinkled all across the country (and the globe!) to be regular contributors. I’m really, really excited about inviting other voices into the conversation.
Texas Schmexas isn't going to just be a blog about community anymore; it's going to be a community blog.